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Old 07-10-2016, 02:07 PM
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tempestwizz (Brian)
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HEQ6 polar alignment reticle error?

Having moved my worldly possessions to a shed in Laos while awaiting my house to be built I have been restrained from attempting any Astrophotography. But now that the house is closer to completion, and I now have an Astro observing deck built at roof level with a reinforced concrete pier in situ, I have started dragging out some of my stored equipment.
The mount I am playing with now is the HEQ6 pro, and with the mechanical issues sorted, I thought I'd have a look at polar alignment.

The HEQ6 has an inbuilt polar scopewith reticle for both hemispheres. Ok I thought. Looking through the murky skies if Vientiane last night I could just make out Polaris, but not the Big Dipper or Cassiopea. Looking at my Sky Safari app, I could note the relative positions of these two, and rotate the RA for approximate position. Then I could make the necessary adjustments to put Polaris in the dot of the reticle. All good I thought. Should be able to set up when the clouds disappear in the window of November to end of January.

However! On later inspection of the Sky Safari app, I note that the location of Polaris is shown between the North Celestial Pole and Cassiopea stars Navi or Sheddar,rather than between the NCP and Big Dipper as shown in the HEQ6 reticle.
Other apps and maps confirm the Sky Safari position, so clearly the polar reticle must be wrong. Surely I'm not the first to notice this?
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:21 PM
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I've never used my SkyWatcher mounts in the Northern hemisphere

But, you seem to be correct. Something is wrong.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:43 PM
kens (Ken)
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I once got caught out on this. The diagram of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia is intended to be viewed naked eye to put the scope in the right orientation. Whereas Polaris is viewed through the scope and is inverted
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:58 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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I think you're 100%
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:14 PM
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tempestwizz (Brian)
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Yes, that would make some sense. Although seeing was such that I could not make out either constellation, The scale of the distance from NCP to Polaris in the polar scope reticle does not seem to fit with the scale of NCP to the constellations when comparing to the Sky Safari.

This also checked out when I fired the mount up in daylight this morning about 03:00 UTC. After initialisation, Synscan reported Polaris to be at 01:40. Reading the manual this means one should rotate the RA until the dot for Polaris is at the 01:40 position viewed through the polar scope.
Compared to the position shown on SkySafari this was about 180 degrees out from visual. Hence with the reversal through the scope, things would add up.

Thanks all for your input. Brian
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heq6, polar alignment, reticle

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